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Physics and Astronomy: Articles

Evaluating sources -- Peer review

  • Peer review means the article has been reviewed by several researchers who are familiar with the topic.  Most articles that are not rejected have been required to make at least some changes before publication.  Relying heavily on peer-reviewed journal articles is a standard way of getting better quality information in academic research.
  • Even with peer review, journal articles should be read critically.  They’re never perfect and can be wrong in details or even as a whole.
  • Look for methodology sections of articles you’re scanning.  You can also search on  names of methods or instruments, in addition to subject terms.


Primary Article (original research)
Reports the findings from researchers.  The experiments scientists conduct will be reported in this type of article.

Review Article (secondary literature)
This type of article will summarize the research that has been reported in primary literature.

Interested in Physics journals? Not just the articles within them?

What journals should you be looking at?  Which are most influential or prestigious?  (Be skeptical of rankings though.)

Look at Scimago, Google Scholar, or Eigenfactor.  We no longer subscribe to Journal Citation Reports.  Many top journals show their impact factors on their splash page.

Also, and maybe better, do a few broad searches on your topic and take a closer look at the journals that come up among the results.

Physics and Astronomy Article Databases

Search Databases to Find Articles

You should be able to find find articles from Physical Review, Scitation, Science Direct, IEEE, and other publishers by using Web of Science and Google Scholar and then linking to full text.

If you want to browse Physics and Astronomy journals, try these below.  We will not necessarily have full text for all.  And this will not include many physics journals in multidisciplinary packages.

More Databases

Science Librarian

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Stephanie Bennett
University Libraries
Appalachian State University
218 College Street
Boone, NC 28608